In the shadow of the 2019 Bridgestone Winter Classic, the Blackhawks surprised their fan base with a trade Sunday afternoon. They acquired left wing Drake Caggiula and defenseman Jason Garrison for defenseman Brandon Manning and the rights to prospect Robin Norell.
The big piece of the deal for the Blackhawks is Caggiula, and Garrison will slot in with the plethora of bottom pair defenseman that they are carrying. The benefit to essentially acquiring Garrison for Manning, though, is that Garrison only makes $650,000 for the remainder of this season as opposed to Manning’s $2.25M salary cap hit for next season, as well..
The 24-year-old Caggiula was signed by the Oilers as a free agent out of North Dakota (teammate of Nick Schmaltz) in the summer of 2016, and signed a 2-year $3M extension this past summer, according to Puckpedia. He has amassed 49 points (27G, 22A) in 156 National Hockey League games.
Garrison is a 6’1” 218lbs, 34-year-old veteran defenseman that was signed as a free agent on October 2, 2018. He has played 17 games with the Oilers and scored one goal.
The Blackhawks signed Brandon Manning as (potentially) their biggest free agent acquisition, in July. Manning’s slow foot speed eventually led to healthy scratch situations and, ultimately, falling out of favor with former coach Joel Quenneville and current coach Jeremy Colliton.
Robin Norell is a familiar name for fans of the Rockford Icehogs. The 23-year-old Swedish defenseman played 136 games with Rockford and collected 18 points (3G, 15A). Norell signed a 3-year entry level deal with the Blackhawks in 2016, but wasn’t able to secure a long term position in Rockford.
After losing favor in the organization, the frustrated Swede elected to go back home to play for Djurgårdens IF this season (originally reported by The-Rink in August)